“I have a feeling, in a few years people are going to be doing what they always do when the economy tanks. They will be blaming immigrants and poor people.”- from The Big Short
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”
– Proverbs 31:8
“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.”- MLK
After watching the movie, The Big Short, I had the feeling that each of us is needed to provide an alternative to the titanic cynical corruption that has taken over the heart of our economy.
Yesterday, Julia and I went to support an annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration that had been neglected by the white community, even though the public, including the clergy and congregants of several institutions have been invited every year.
I was singing in a preschool beforehand and Julia and I were both tired and a little cranky going in. Ushered into the middle of a cozy row, we were cracked open as a group of women called the First Seventh Day Adventists Ensemble began to sing. I have heard amazing gospel choirs and been blown away by technique and admired the passion behind the songs. This was different; this cut right through complacency and struck a nerve and a chord with Julia and I who sat crying while they sang. Their song wasn’t a finger wagging but women standing up and singing about love seeing them as valuable, as whole, someone worth making a sacrifice for.
We uphold the great leaders who were willing to sacrifice themselves to raise up our humanity beyond fear, greed and hatred. This celebration reminded me that beyond all the posturing, and power-grabbing, there really are those who are dedicated to alleviating suffering on a daily basis. How many unsung mothers alone could fill the history books? There are mothers, fathers, siblings, friends, strangers, who sacrifice themselves for our good because they believe in us and what we have to offer.
At the end of the celebration the advice was to become pressurized, like a submarine. Become pressurized on the inside so you can handle the pressures that are coming at you from the outside.
It is easy to feel insignificant, to cling to our bubble of comfort, to become annoyed at change or at being asked to make an effort. There were certainly more white folks in attendance yesterday because one person made an earnest appeal. We were cranky going in and felt cracked open and expanded on the way out.
May you be pressurized. Know that you are worthwhile and valuable!